This project initiates a new research direction of mutual interest to the mobility industry and urban designers/planners—the effects of automated driving on urban areas. Most current media and research interest in the automated sector focuses on dense urban environments, however, ongoing research the Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) documents how the suburban environment is the dominant form of urbanization in the U.S. (50%+ of the population, 55% of commute destinations). It is likely to remain dominant given the majority share of population and employment in suburban areas.
News + Events
Strategies for Urban Stormwater Wetlands Los Angeles and Houston led by Professor Heidi Nepf, Professor Alan Berger and Lead Researcher Celina Balderas Guzman has been awarded an Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) seed-grant. A total of nine grants of $200,000 for two years were awarded to researchers from 11 MIT departments.
Philips has announced an alliance with MIT, for an initial term of five years and $25 million, that will ultimately support MIT research in the company’s core areas of health care and lighting solutions technology, which will be conducted in collaboration with Philips Research.
The new MIT-Philips alliance was formalized today with a signing ceremony attended by Global Head Henk van Houten of Philips Research, and MIT Provost Martin Schmidt and Associate Provost Karen Gleason. Some of the MIT researchers whose work will be supported by the new alliance also attended the signing.
Professor James Wescoat and Fadi Masoud have two separate chapters published in a book titled “Out of Water: Design Solutions for Arid Regions” and just released by Birkhauser.
Over the course of the spring semester students have been experimenting with emerging trends in the fields of landscape architecture and urbanism as they relate to the Center’s biennial theme, The Future of Suburbia. Centered around five design briefs (see below), the workshop has culminated in the design of suburban prototypes that respond to the various future challenges and opportunities that suburbia faces. The students work will form the foundations of an exhibition around the same theme, scheduled to open in early 2016.
On a recent trip to Japan, Alan Berger Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Urbanism, lectured on The Inverted Tent: American Urbanization and Future Mobility.
The overall goal of the Medellin Studio was to take the Manatiales de Paz neighborhood as a case study for research and action, in order to discover firsthand the process and form of fast informal urbanization as well as its consequences. Learning from the successful social agenda and the Proyectos Urbanos Integrados PUI (integrated urban projects) that regenerated the informal fabrics of Medellin, the studio aimed to answer the following question: What if those infrastructural interventions could arrive in time? How should they be deployed? What would be the strategy for implementation?
MIT CAU visiting scholars Matthew Niederhauser and John Fitzgerald just returned from a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa and Maputo, Mozambique where they acquired material for the 2016 Future of Suburbia biennial exhibition and associated Infinite Suburbia publication. Johannesburg is a rapidly expanding city marked by stark divides. Its periphery is known for its highly fortified, insular suburban enclaves and large shopping malls that continue to be built at a rapid pace, especially around Pretoria.
The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) College of Architecture invited Fadi Masoud Lecturer of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and Research Associate at the CAU to participate in an exhibition titled Emerging Landscapes. The exhibition is IIT College of Architecture’s primary curatorial effort this spring, and is a collaboration between Dean Wiel Arets and the MLA program faculty and students. The selected work on display is recognized as being the most influential in defining emerging trends in landscape architectural research, design, and practice.
Rising Tides: Planning and designing Boston’s land use and mobility system for a changing climate led by professors Christopher P. Zegras and Brent Ryan has been awarded an MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism Seed Grant. They will lead an interdisciplinary team of seven students to explore strategies for adapting to potential sea level rise (SLR) through simulated interventions in the land use-transportation system in the Boston Metropolitan Area (BMA).
Fostering Sustainable Consumption in U.S. Cities led by Professor Judith Layzer (PI) has been awarded an MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (MIT-ESI) Environmental Research Seed Grants. A total of 59 teams of faculty, research staff, and students responded to the call for proposals, with Prof. Layzer one of nine winners. She will collaborate on this research with faculty including, environmental economist Dr. Frank Ackerman, scientific historian Professor Jennifer Light, and landscape architect and urban designer Professor Alan Berger, as well as Ph.D candidate Lily Pollans.
Over IAP 2015, 10 students (MCP, M.Arch, SMarchS) spent seven days in Medellin on an initial workshop, visiting the urban projects in informal settlements and meeting with community partners in the city, including: peers at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellin, the municipality of Bello, the Manantiales de Paz board, as well as a host of city making professionals including: Alejandro Echeverri, Felipe Uribe, Camilo Restrepo and Carlos Escobar.
On 13-14th March, the CAU hosted a “think tank” design charrette on The Future of Suburbia – the Center’s biennial theme. The workshop marks the half-way point in the biennial theme, which will culminate in spring 2016 with a major conference, exhibition, and publication. A number of lectures, courses, design charrettes and other events are also being held through the spring of 2016 in support of the theme.
The MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) was represented at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Faculty Members – Professor John Lienhard, Professor Colette Heald, and Associate Provost Karen Gleason – and CAU Co-Director Alan Berger served on MIT’s IdeasLab panel on global food and water security, a topic central to the CAU’s ‘Environment + Urbanism’ research area.
The Medellin Studio: Providing infrastructure for informal settlements in Bello, Colombia
Co-taught by Lorena Bello and Jota Samper
Organized by the MIT Club of Delhi, Celina Balderas Guzman gave a talk on CAU’s research philosophy and mission as evidenced by CAU’s projects. The talk was prefaced by Mr. Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development of India, who spoke about India’s urban challenges. The talk was generously hosted by Mr. Vinay Rai, MIT alum and leader of the Rai Foundation.
Image credit: Matthew Niederhauser and John Fitzgerald.
The Center for Advanced Urbanism is pleased to announce the line up for its Lecture Series 2014-15. They will be held on Monday evenings in the Long Lounge (7-429). Further details are available here
The series will begin on 22th September with Louise Mozingo, Professor & Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, UC Berkeley discussing Pastoral Capitalism: Corporations, Suburbs, and the Metropolitan Landscape.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan has announced that six design proposals -- including one by MIT's Center for Advanced Urbanism, with partners ZUS + Urbanisten -- have been selected as winners of HUD’s Rebuild by Design competition. The MIT team’s winning design proposal "New Meadowlands” protects a unique area of approximately thirty square miles in the NY/NJ Metropolitan Region, against future flood events.
Join the Center for Advanced Urbanism as they present at the 2014 MIT ILP Europe Conference in Brussels on May 21-22nd. Tickets available here
“To resolve the world’s ecological problems, we first have to work on the problems facing our cities.” This observation by landscape architect Dirk Sijmons is the premise of the sixth edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam: IABR–2014–URBAN BY NATURE– and it earned him the curatorship of this edition. A major exhibition, URBAN BY NATURE– will guide visitors through the contemporary urban landscape to experience the metabolism of the city. For the first time in its history, the now sustainable Kunsthal will be used in its entirety for a single exhibition.
The Spring 2014 Scaling Infrastructure conference is CAU’s second and final infrastructure conference of our biennial theme that will convene political leaders, infrastructural engineers, design professionals and academicians to discuss groundbreaking ideas on infrastructure. Faced with new economic, political, and environmental challenges, the question of appropriate infrastructural investments and design scales is critical to the future of urbanized territories.
A newly released report from MIT’s Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) resulting from the student course "Advanced Research Workshop in Landscape + Urbanism" highlights the complexity of the issue. Produced in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects, the document examines an array of public health matters in eight major metropolitan areas in the United States, and suggests a wide array of possible remedies, from better mass transit to extensive tree-planting.
The Center for Advanced Urbanism participated in the 2013 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, in Shenzhen. The CAU's exhibit entitled "Infrastructural Objects as Enablers of Cultural Change", presented a hypothesis in regards to the diffusion of industrial structures into society at large. Through a process of embedding and re-appropriating, buildings instill new values, forms and symbols into an otherwise conformist urban order.
On October 28, the MIT CAU ZUS team revealed five Design Opportunities across the Hurricane Sandy-affected region. The CAU ZUS team presented each proposal which are all now available online. This juncture marks the end of Phase II that included three months of research and conversation with communities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and beyond.
An international design team consisting of the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (US) and Dutch Delta Collective (NL) was charged by Shaun Donovan, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, with a study and design for the reconstruction and redevelopment of the northeast coastline of the United States, after the passage of hurricane Sandy in 2012. The team combines the cutting edge research and local knowledge of MIT and the best in water design and management from the Netherlands, such as De Urbanisten, Deltares, Volker Infra Design, ZUS and 75B.
The CAU is cosponsoring a Community Games Workshop with the MIT Science Impact Collaborative on September 16th and 17th. The event will feature Tygron Serious Games demonstrating their powerful game engine. Anyone interested in serious games, planning and collaborative policy-making is encouraged to register and attend any part or all of the workshop sessions. Please find more information here.
The Center for Advanced Urbanism is pleased to announce the line up for its Fall Lecture Series. They will be held on Monday evenings in the Long Lounge (7-429).
The series will begin on 9th September with Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal at SHoP Architects, and Director of CURE, Columbia University. Alongside his seminar entitled A Country of Cities, there will also be a book signing to mark the release of his latest book by the same name.